Anyone who frequents Clues and Reviews knows that I am completely obsessed with Ania Ahlborn. Her novels always keep me glued to the pages, holding on to the edge of my seat and looking over my shoulder. Really, what more does anyone want in a horror novel, am I right?
I am especially pleased when Ahlborn publishes a novella. It really helps to give me my fix until another one of her novels publishes. And, since Ania Ahlborn is an “auto-buy” author for me, I didn’t even pay attention to what her newest novella, I Call Upon Thee, was about until after I had already downloaded it to my Kindle. Once I realized that it had an Ouija board at the core of the plot, I had to take some time to mentally prepare myself. Ouija boards TERRIFY me.
At 246 pages, this novella packs a serious punch. Using a back and forth narration between the present after our protagonist, Maggie heads home to help after the death of her sister and flashbacks to her childhood, Ahlborn weaves a terrifying tale. Even small details (creepy niece, anyone?) had me on edge while I was reading. That is one of my favourite things about her work; she is able to take regular, everyday occurrences and flip them into my worst nightmare.
Now that I have finished, all I have to say is YIKES!
If you like a little fright in your reading, then I would say pick this one up! I loved it.
Since #cjsreads enjoys all things creepy, we decided to do this one as a buddy read. Want to see what Jessica and Chadra thought of this Ania Ahlborn novella? Keep reading to find out!
What Chandra Thought:
Creeeeeeeeeeeepy! I think this might be one of my favorite novellas to date. I feel like we have all at one point or another in our childhood have played with dolls and Ouija boards. I think the difference is whether this experience propelled us into the dark and macabre love that I have, or chased us in the opposite direction, arms flailing and constantly being all bright and glittery and happy… or whatever it is that’s the opposite of me.
Ania does it again. Pulls you right in and doesn’t let you go. It’s like each word comes off the page and sinks it’s teeth right into you until you absorb each chapter. I promised myself I‘d finish this novella last night so I could have some kind of closure and then I remember that I‘ve read all her books before and well, that’s not likely to happen regardless. So I finished this morning, in the day light, where it’s safe.. until I walked by the bathroom mirror and jumped at my own reflection. Damn you, Ania!! **shakes fist**
I think this one really got to me because of my own experiences I had as a kid when I was obsessed with Ouija boards, found my hatred for dolls of all kinds and had some super creepy moments of my own that I‘m still going to say was nightmares or my imagination. To read Ania’s Author Note at the end about her own experiences and how this novella came about just gave my goose bumps their own goose bumps.
Basically it’s this, readers… if you love Ania already, you won’t be disappointed with this novella. If you haven’t read her yet – well, what are you waiting for?
What Jessica Thought:
As many know, I love me a good short story or novella. I have huge respect for the authors that can pack a punch in a small scale novel. Just like with all her other novels, this one is woven so perfectly that it leaves you terrified. I don’t know how she continues to do it! We follow Maggie and bounce between the present after her sister’s death and her flashbacks to childhood.
Despite dolls and Ouija Boards serving as pretty common elements in horror, but it felt fresh and Ania brought the fear factor to a whole other level. I don’t want to give away too much more, with this being a novella you should experience it all!
Overall, if you love Ania Ahlborn, then you definitely should already have this on your TBR. If you haven’t picked up any of her novels yet, then this novella is the perfect way to get acquainted with her. Careful, it’ll grab you and not let go!
I give this 5/5 stars!